Successful people are successful because they have habits that can power and lead them to success. Aside from having clear goals, being proactive, being open to learning, and being disciplined, there are certain daily habits many successful people have in common that align them to their purpose, grounds them to become more mindful, and make them more productive than most others. We can all adopt these specific habits to lead us to our own inevitable success.
Here are 8 daily habits of successful people that will make us successful.
1. “Early to Bed, Early to Rise”
Benjamin Franklin wrote in his book “Poor Richard’s Almanack” that “early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” This phrase meant that when we go to bed at a relatively early time, we can wake up early the next day so that we can start the day earlier than most. This habit can lead to a productive and successful day.
The efforts we put into rising early and the extra work we do can compound to create an impactful result.
Here are a few tips that can help us wake up earlier:
- Go to bed consistently early each night to establish a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals close to bedtime for better sleep quality.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Avoid screens (e.g. phones, tablets, TVs) for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Make sure your sleep environment is conducive to sleep. This means it should be cool, dark, and quiet.
- Consider using a light therapy box or a wake-up light to help you naturally wake up in the morning.
- If you still have trouble waking up, try setting a second alarm a few minutes after the first one. This can help you wake up more gradually and make it easier to get out of bed.
2. Start Your Day with Meditation
A great way to start the day is meditation. I often wake up earlier and allocate 10 minutes daily for my meditation practice. Meditation is a simple practice. We can sit comfortably in a quiet place in our homes. I love using a specific area to sit, and I also bought an excellent meditation pillow. I also wrote a short guide to starting meditation here: “Guide to Mindful Meditation.”
To begin meditation, start by taking a few deep breaths and focusing on the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body. Try to let go of any thoughts or worries on your mind and simply focus on your breath.
Another helpful way to enter a meditative state is repeating a mantra or a word or phrase that has personal meaning to you to help you stay focused. One I usually use is “I grateful for the blessings and abundance that this day brings.”
Another option is to use a guided meditation app like Calm or Headspace for a great guided meditation to help you get started. Whatever method you choose, the important thing is to make meditation a regular part of your morning routine.
There are many life-changing benefits to practicing meditation daily such as reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus and concentration, better sleep, and increased feelings of calm and relaxation. Meditation has also been shown to positively affect physical health, such as lowering blood pressure and chronic pain.
In addition, meditation has been found to improve overall well-being and quality of life and can help us cultivate mindfulness and awareness in our daily lives. Overall, the benefits of meditation can be wide-ranging and powerful, and it can help us to feel more balanced and centered in our lives.
3. Start Your Day with a To-Do List of Goals
To ensure a productive day, start by creating a to-do list. We can write down all the tasks and goals we want to accomplish for the day.
We must include our big-picture goals and ensure we are moving the needle to accomplish them. The list of tasks could include any long-term projects, smaller and more immediate tasks such as sending that important email or making that phone call.
When we have finished creating a list, we need to prioritize the tasks based on importance, deadlines, and whether they fulfill our long-term goals. This prioritization process helps us focus on the most critical and urgent tasks first and void becoming overwhelmed by doing too much. I often cut this list to five of the day’s most important things to accomplish.
We can break down the larger tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks or steps and then schedule blocks of time in the day to work on these tasks. We must focus on each task one at a time so that we remain engaged and unlock our full potential.
In addition, at the end of the day, we can set aside time to review our progress and plan for the next day. We can create a clear and organized to-do list to help in ensuring that we are making the most of our time productively throughout the day.
4. Limit Exposure to Social Media
In this day and age, we often overuse social media. I have written about this topic here: “8 Ways to Manage Social Media.”
There are several steps we can take to limit our social media use. One approach is to set specific times of the day when we will allow ourselves to use social media and stick to those times only.
We can use social media only for a few minutes in the morning and only during the evening, for example. This disciplined usage helps us avoid the distractions that social media often brings. Our attention and focus can instead be well-spent on productive tasks and activities.
Another approach is to use tools and apps that can help monitor and limit our social media use. These can include apps blocking access to social media sites during certain times of the day or tracking our usage. There are great apps that disable internet access, such as the Be Focused timer app for Mac.
We can be more mindful of how we use social media and be more selective about the content we engage with. By setting boundaries and being more intentional about our social media use, we can help to limit the amount of time we spend on these platforms.
5. Read a Book
I read a book daily during my morning commutes. Reading a book daily is a great way to learn and expand our knowledge and skills and improve our thinking.
We can set aside a few minutes or an hour each day to read a book. Sometimes this may be in the morning while having breakfast or at the end of the day when we are winding down. The critical factor is that we can choose times that work for our schedule and stick with them, so we build this habit of reading.
We can choose a book on topics we want to learn or are interested in so that reading can be enjoyable. This will enable us to continue with this habitual routine. We could start with shorter books and build our habits over time to more complex subjects.
Another great tip for ensuring we stay engaged while reading is to use highlights and take notes on the book’s passages that inspire us or if the idea is something that we find exciting or the message of the book is something we find essential.
We can also ask friends, co-workers, and mentors to recommend a great book. A daily habit of reading is a great habit that can expand our minds and make us successful.
6. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is vital in ensuring we stay healthy as we age. The key to having a healthy diet is to make small, incremental, and sustainable changes to our diet. Consistency is also vital.
We can start with small changes to our diet, such as swapping soda or sugary drinks for water. This change alone can help us gradually become healthier and lose fat without becoming overwhelmed.
We can also plan our meals ahead so that we always choose healthy choices, avoid impulsive decisions, and avoid eating unhealthy foods.
We can limit snacking or take it out entirely. Having two to three meals daily and no snacking in between trains our bodies to view eating in moderation and discipline our bodies and mind. We must also be mindful of the portion sizes we eat. If we travel abroad, portion sizes are way smaller than American portions. Hence our country has an obesity problem due to this difference.
A healthy diet is essential to success and ensures we stay healthy long-term as we enjoy life as we age.
7. Practice Active Listening
Learning to listen actively is vital for success. I have written about how to practice active listening in one of my articles here: “How to Master the Art of Active Listening.”
Overall, practicing active listening requires being fully present and engaged with the speaker. We can learn to improve our listening skills and have more effective communication with others every day.
We can start by paying attention to the speaker and putting aside distractions. The integral factor here is focused attention. We can also pay attention to body language as we are listening, such as nodding our heads and making eye contact, to understand the speaker’s message.
We can avoid interrupting the speaker until they finish, and learn verbal cues to show that we are indeed listening, such as “I see” or “I understand.” We can take time to digest their message, ensuring we understand their perspective. And then, we can use clarifying questions to dig deeper into this understanding.
Practicing active listening is an important skill set that very successful people have honed and perfected.
8. Be Grateful Daily
Becoming more grateful daily requires time and effort. When we incorporate the practice of daily gratitude, it can be a habit that creates a more profound sense of joy and bring about many benefits to our soul and body.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one way we can practice daily gratitude. Write down five things we are grateful for every day, for example. This practice helps remind us of the good things we often take for granted in life.
Another way of practicing daily gratitude is expressing gratitude to others. Take the time to thank people that have helped us or have made a positive impact in our lives. A simple thank-you note or in-person will help elevate our hearts and mind.
When we reflect daily, we can practice this mindfulness and gratitude to help ourselves and the people around us. An attitude of gratitude will help ground us and align us with our deeper purpose in life.